'Civil war' wont rock Welsh boat

Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:21
Large sam warburton   warren gatl

Sam Warburton insisted the 'civil war' in Wales would not distract his side in their bid for an historic third successive Six Nations title.

Welsh captain Sam Warburton insisted the 'civil war' in Wales would not distract his side in their bid for an historic third successive Six Nations title.

No country has won Europe's premier international championship three times in a row, but that is the goal in defending champions Wales' sights.

However, the build-up to this latest title defence has been overshadowed by a bitter row between Wales' four senior regional clubs and the Welsh Rugby Union over the future of the professional game in the country, amid fears of an increasing player exodus that has already seen several Test stars pursue club careers in France and England.

The club future of Warburton, remains uncertain.

And a question mark remains over his fitness for Wales' Six Nations opener against Italy in Cardiff on February 1 given he hasn't played since November because of nerve damage to his shoulder.

But he was in buoyant mood at the tournament launch in London on Wednesday, even though Wales go into the Six Nations having been beaten by South Africa and Australia in November.

"You always look forward to the Six Nations, Warburton said. "It's what you are measured on."

The back row forward, British and Irish Lions tour captain when the combined side, coached by Wales boss Warren Gatland, triumphed 2-1 in Australia last year, added: "Shaun Edwards [Wales' defence coach] mentioned the three in a row in the dressing room after the Australia match. It's a chance to create history."

As for the off-field arguments bedevilling the Welsh game, Warburton said: "All that goes away when we are in the national camp where Warren has created a great environment."

Meanwhile Warburton was cautiously optimistic about his chances of playing against Italy.

"I think I'll be available for selection," he said. "I need to have a chat with Warren Gatland and the medics early next week to decide what's the best thing to do, whether that be go back to my club first to play a game."


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 November 2015
Leinster v Ulster 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Dragons 19h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 28 November 2015
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 15h00 Sandy Park
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 15h15 Twickenham
Munster v Connacht 17h15 Thomond Park
London Irish v Wasps 17h30 Twickenham
Sun, 29 November 2015
Scarlets v Zebre 14h30 Parc y Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v Bath 15h00 Welford Road
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 4 0 1 8
England 5 4 0 1 8
Wales 5 4 0 1 8
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 1 0 4 2
Scotland 5 0 0 5 0